This is me writing about how I voraciously devoured every one of Emilie's inspiring blog posts about her amazing athletic antics and watched contestants shed pound after pound on episode after episode of The Biggest Loser and thought "wow" a lot but didn't actually DO anything myself. I did manage to not sit there shoveling Ben & Jerry's into my mouth, but mostly I sat there awe-inspired but not actually inspired. I kept waiting for it. This has GOT to get me motivated, I'd say, just watch! But no lightning bolts fell from the sky. No light bulb lit up over my head. My legs did not suddenly leap up of their own volition as if posessed by those famous red shoes. I continued on in my rut.
And then Emilie sent me a facebook invite to her event "Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trek" and I thought "I can walk 4 miles. Easy." and then I thought "Maybe I could run 4 miles if I actually did a training plan and built up to it.... I could at least run some of the 4 miles." And that very day I looked up the Hal Higdon 30/30 and I went to the gym and I ran the equivalent of a half mile out of the two miles I covered going around the track. And I didn't die. And I felt strong and proud. And Motivated with capital M.
And then Madeline's dance teacher talked us into doing Zumba on Saturday mornings--which is really fun and up-beat and tiring and fun!--and I was really on my way!
And then I screwed up my right ankle, mostly because my left knee is twitchy and I've babied it so much that my thigh muscle is pathetically atrophied and I drop all my weight on the opposite foot whenever I go down stairs. So I'm limping and hurting and starting to doubt my chiropractor's optimism and trying to do housework and prep for Thanksgiving.
Since I can't DO much right now (and WANT to), I'm reflecting on why it took so long for me to get there, mentally. I recently saw my OB-GYN after a little too long between visits. After being welcomed back, literally with open arms and demands for recent pix of the kids, she summed it up as "You just realized you're 40." I had the fancy party (almost a year ago now!), I know how old I am, I came to grips with that intellectually at the time. But it's only now that it is really sinking in as a permanent truth. Last year at this time I was bemoaning not having done something amazing prior to turning 40. Now I'm about to no longer be "just" 40 and I still feel that way. I've realized now that soon I will be "forty-something" and I'm going to be that for a while, so I'd better face it and take control of my body while I still can.
So, here I am, with my swollen ankle, bound and determined to still do the Turkey Trek (walking only, alas) and looking forward to getting on with learning to run.
If you know me AT ALL, then you know that those are two of my most favorite food words. Put them together and you've got the largest section of my personal cook book, not to mention an easy Jeopardy clue.
Contestant: I'll take Nancy's Culinary Habits for 500, Alex.
Alex Trebek: Nancy will most likely be baking this when company arrives at her home.
Contestant: What are Cheese Straws?
Alex: That's correct!...
And I've discovered a new one. Believe it or not, I found this recipe on the Sam's Club website [insert a Scooby Doo "huh?!?" here] over a year ago, but never tried it 'til last weekend. The best part is ZERO PREP. We're talking five minutes from fridge to face, folks!!
--Put little piles (1 to 2 tsp) of shredded (not grated) parmesan cheese on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
--Add a snip of fresh herbs like basil or tarragon to each, or a sprinkling of dried ones.
--Bake at 350 for 3-4 minutes until melted and golden.
We experimented a little and made some with cheddar cheese (very greasy and oddly bland), and some that were mixed parmesan and cheddar (Alan's fave--pictured on the right side of the plate). They were so good the first time I forgot to take pictures so...(shucks, darn)...we had to make more for the photo op!
Jeremy aka THE ROBOT won first prize at the Rec Center costume contest! This costume also won a prize at the mall 6 years ago when Jamie debuted it. Flashing lights inside the vents completed the night-time look.
Madeline aka THE ZEBRA This kind of creeped out people who know us because Madeline looked so...well... not like Madeline! She had zebra pants, too, and a tail of course.
So why is the world's worst correspondent starting a blog???
I can't handle Facebook--it's information [I use the term loosely] overload and (on the rare occasions that I actually look at it) I end up in complete social networking paralysis--but Emilie has this adorable, funny, thought-provoking, quietly inspiring little blog and I've been itching to try my hand. I used to write stuff. Here's my chance to compose little anecdotes and feel like I'm being communicative even if I am using it as an excuse to sit all alone in a book-lined study. If nothing else, some of those digital pictures of which I am so proud might finally find a home where people will actually see them. And maybe, just maybe, something will be posted here that makes someone laugh, or smile, or cry, or feel a renewed sense of wonder or love or self-worth or perspective...just like Emilie's blog does for me. But probably I'll mostly just talk about food.